RIVERVIEW – The hiring sign wasn’t up but a few hours when South County job seekers began descending on the hiring center for the new Sam’s Club being built near the corner of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road.
The hiring center is operating out of a storefront located in the strip mall at 10275 Big Bend Road (with Amscot and Metro PCS) just to the south of Sonic and training for those employees already hired (called associates by the company) has begun.
Membership Manager Mike Craig, who is working in the office next to the hiring center, at 10273 Big Bend Road, says the store is also signing up shoppers who wish to become members of the discount shopping club.
With a target opening date of March 10, the place is abuzz with activity. Not only are construction workers of just about every kind in progress, but stock is arriving and associates are already being trained.
“We have a group training now,” said Tracy Snelgrove, the Valrico resident who will be the club’s manager on site. “We’ve already hired more than 100 people, mostly from the local area.”
The Riverview store will be Snelgrove’s tenth Sam’s club, the third of which she has managed. Before this, the New England native managed both a club in Bradenton and another in Sarasota.
The address of the new Riverview store is 10427 Big Bend Road, with a separate entrance from U.S. 301 and a shared entrance from Big Bend Road. It will be Sam’s Store No. 4801.
More than 170 jobs have been created and more than 60 percent of them will be filled by local residents, Snelgrove said.
At this time, both full and part time positions are still available, with entry level salaries of most around $8 per hour.
“Some jobs will pay more, depending on experience and job duties,” said Katie Johnston, spokeswoman with Mitchell Communications Group that handles Sam’s Club and its companion Walmart stores accounts across the United States. “There is a seven-level pay grade.”
Another draw for potential employees is that Sam’s Club offers several levels of benefits for both full and part-time employees, including healthcare insurance with no lifetime maximum, a 401-K plan, Sam’s Club membership, stock purchase plan and life insurance, Snelgrove said. Additionally, associates are eligible for company performance-based bonuses.
The store will have 137,000 square-feet of sales space with both indoor and outdoor living centers, Snelgrove said.
At this time Sam’s Club has more than 47 million members across the United States and in Brazil, China and Mexico.
People who wish to obtain membership cards may go to the hiring center now to obtain their membership cards. Local Walmarts also have Sam’s Club representatives signing up members there.
There are three levels of membership available; the lowest priced being the Business membership at $35 a year. Then the $40 a year Advantage membership card, at $40 a year, and finally the Plus membership at $100 a year.
“The Advantage membership is mostly for everyday shoppers like those who come in and buy groceries,” said Johnston. “The Plus membership (at $100 a year) has several advantages like early shopping hours, electronic savings and prescription discounts.”
Regular shopping hours will be 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with Plus members permitted also from 7-10 a.m. Sunday the store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for everyone.
There are other values for Plus members at the pharmacy. Those with a Plus membership who do not have prescription drug insurance coverage get an 8 percent discount on brand name prescriptions and 40 percent discount on generics.
Doors are set to open at 10 a.m. March 10 with a “sneak preview” for local media and businesses March 9 at 4 p.m.
To apply for a job, people may go to the storefront between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. or go online to www.walmart.com/apply and select “Sam’s Club #4801.”
Snelgrove said both methods of application are acceptable.